A few major organizing bodies have developed around the Standing Rock movement, including the two major camps, a legal services collective, environmental groups, and a number of other self-organized grassroots collectives. I'm compiling as many as I know of here.

Also, most of the sources below are active crowdsourced projects, so I'm including links to donate. Please consider donating if you support what they're about.

Oceti Sakowin Camp

Named for the Seven Council Fires of the original Sioux tribe, this is the main camp of the movement, where I stayed. None of the direct action happens here, but it is the spiritual center of water protector culture, where newcomers go to orient themselves and longtimers stay to gather strength, fortitude, and community. The Sacred Fire is in the center of the camp, and the tribes are gathered around it. "Friends," or non-indigenous folk, set up camp in the circumference around the familial tribes. Their official website is a treasure trove of information and inspiration to get involved, and includes an extensive, often-updated area for donations, including both needed supplies and a general donation fund for the camp set up through PayPal.

Camp of the Sacred Stone

Not officially affiliated with Oceti Sakowin but sharing a common purpose, Sacred Stone is a smaller camp closer to the flashpoints of conflict. We actually accidentally went there before finding our way to Oceti Sakowin. The camp has a tighten-woven, perhaps more direct action-oriented warrior culture. Its official website isn't heavy on documentation, but does include both a general camp fund, and at least as importantly a legal defense fund for water protectors who have been and will be arrested.

Water Protector Legal Collective


Originally called the Red Owl Legal Collective, this is the central legal hub for water protectors. It "operates with support from the National Lawyers Guild, and is committed to supporting the national sovereign rights of the people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and to serving the legal needs of those engaged in resistance to the Pipeline." They have a tent at the top of Facebook Hill at Oceti Sakowin camp, providing "civil and criminal litigation, from transporting arrestees to attorney travel expenses for jail and bail visits, to court filing fees, to expert witnesses, and more." Their website is simple but useful, with opportunities for volunteering and even some paid part-time positions (they have plenty to do even with fewer people at camp - their current fight is in exonerating the arrestees and having their charges dropped), and well as a donation fund.

Voices of Standing Rock

"Intimate interviews with water protectors at Standing Rock, published weekly," conducted by the Iktče Wičháša Oyáte, or Common Man society at Standing Rock, "a band of about 45 men and women who have taken an oath to Serve, Protect, and Tend to the wellbeing of the Water Protectors and Oceti Sakowin Camp...Iktce Wichasa Oyate is not a camp unto itself but lives within Oceti Sakowin where the Seven Nations Council Fire is lit. They take their guidance and directives from the Spiritual Leaders and Elders and answer directly to them."

Their interviews are elucidating and personal, including both indigenous voices and the extended family of non-indigenous friends. You can listen to them a number of ways:

And this is important: They are a crowdfunded enterprise, so if you are looking for a good cause to donate to, you can do that here via YouCaring.

Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)


The IEN of course existed before the Standing Rock movement. Conceived in 1990, "IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities. IEN accomplishes this by maintaining an informational clearinghouse, organizing campaigns, direct actions and public awareness, building the capacity of community and tribes to address EJ issues, development of initiatives to impact policy, and building alliances among Indigenous communities, tribes, inter-tribal and Indigenous organizations, people-of-color/ethnic organizations, faith-based and women groups, youth, labor, environmental organizations and others."

The organization has been involved with Standing Rock from the beginning, and were also instrumental in shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline last year. Direct action leader Joye Braun has been a spiritual guiding force in particular to many of the female water protectors, many of them non-indigenous. One woman I met at Standing Rock, a 62-year-old from Kansas who was arrested while praying over the construction site, spoke of Braun with an awed reverence that was one of the first signs for me that this is a winnable fight.

Their website represents a varied array of indigenous environmental issues, and thus is a wonderful springboard toward understanding the bigger issues underpinning the Standing Rock movement.